Trekking in Peru FAQ’s

 

Information for Trekking, Hiking and Climbing in the Peruvian Andes and Travelling to Peru

There are some of the most frequently asked questions

If there is anything you would like to know that is not covered here, just email us. We welcome your questions and are happy to help

How do I get to Huaraz from Lima or from Cuzco?
Cruz Del Sur, Oltursa Bus and Movil Tours operate high class tourist bus services between Lima and Huaraz. The bus journey is around 8hours on a good paved road. There are day bus services and also night buses. There is a choice of luxurious “VIP” sleeping seats or comfortable regular seats. There is a limited flight service with just one morning flight per day between Lima & Huaraz operated by airline LC Peru.
There is no direct flight between Cuzco and Huaraz. You take a flight between Cuzco & Lima, and then the bus or flight to Huaraz. The LC Peru flight does not connect well with Cusco flights. If you want to travel between Cusco & Huaraz the same day, you may need to use the bus service between Huaraz & Lima to connect with your Cusco flight.
The best way to travel between Cusco & Huaraz in one day is:
*Morning flight Cusco to Lima, arriving  no later than 10:00am, 01:00pm VIP bus Lima to Huaraz, arrives 09:00pm
*Night bus Huaraz to Lima, arrives Lima 07:00am next morning then mid morning flight to Cusco
We can buy bus or flight tickets. Contact Us for information.

What is the maximum weight for my trek bag?

We ask that you keep the weight of your trek bag to be carried on a donkey to maximum 15kgs. Each donkey can carry maximum 30kgs = 2 clients trek bags @15kgs per bag per person.

How fit do I need to be to Trek or Climb in Peru?

For trekking, it is not necessary to be “super fit”, but you do need to be of generally good fitness and a regular walker. You need to be able to hike continuously uphill (sometimes steep) for 2 to 2½ continuous hours with rest stops to reach the top of a pass. Total walking time in a day varies from 3 or 4 hours to up to 7 hours for moderate treks and the hard treks can be up to a 9 hour day.
For climbing you need have good aerobic fitness and be generally strong, and it is important to be well acclimatised. On many of the climbs, you have to carry your equipment with sleeping bag, mattress, clothes and climbing gear   up to a high camp in a backpack and you need to be strong enough to manage this.

How will the altitude affect me?
Huaraz where our treks start from is at 3090m, and all the trekking in the area is above 4000m.  For the first few days the altitude can cause you to feel breathless, lethargic and maybe a little nauseous, and for some people the symptoms are more severe.
 We always recommend that clients have 2 complete days in Huaraz for acclimatisation before leaving for a trek. We organise day hikes up to around 4000m. To go high for the day and then come back lower to Huaraz to sleep for the night helps with acclimatisation.
Our guides and staff are very experienced with managing altitude issues. On the trek they always walk very slowly to help keep your breathing under control, and there are plenty of opportunities for rest stops and time to take photos.  It is important to drink a lot when at altitude and you need to take in more fluid than you would on an equivalent hike at lower altitude. With good acclimatisation in Huaraz, we find that most of our clients have no or only minor problems with altitude while trekking.Additional acclimatisation is required for climbing above 5000m. For a non technical peak or peak below 6000m, we always recommend that as well as the acclimatisation days in Huaraz that you do a 3 or 4 day trek with crossing high passes before departing for climbing. For technical and 6000m peaks, in addition to an acclimatisation trek that you climb another lesser peak for 2 to 4 days first for extra acclimatisation & fitness.
 
Do I need to treat the water?
On treks and climbs our crew boil all drinking water , and it is safe to drink, and does not need further treatment.  We have an unlimited supply of boiled water in the camp for hot drinks and filling drink bottles, and carry a thermos flask with boiled water for the lunch break. In the towns, only drink hot boiled water or bottled water.

What will the weather be like?
The Peruvian Andes is in an equatorial zone. Normally, the weather is more settled from May until September with more chance of having extended periods of good weather. However, you are in the mountains and should expect poor weather at any time.
 There is a rainy season normally from end of September until April. Typical weather in this time is to have cloud in the mountains with a period of rain, sometimes heavy, in the afternoons. There can also be heavy rain all day, or days with great weather, it is unpredictable.

Websites for Huaraz weather forecast:
http://www.worldweatheronline.com/v2/weather.aspx?q=Huaraz,%20Peru

Huaraz Airport Forecast:
http://www.tutiempo.net/tiempo/Anta_Huaraz/SPHZ.htm?datos=por-horas

What will the temperature be in  Huaraz and in the mountains?
In Huaraz during the day, it can be hot at times – up to 25 degrees Celsius in the middle of the day, but at night it is much cooler, around 5 degrees Celsius. On trek, temperatures vary a lot. It can be as warm as 18 degrees C to 20 degrees C during the day out of the wind, or as low 8 degrees C if the weather is not good. Often it is warm enough to walk with a light tee shirt ands shorts, but there is always a cool breeze coming from the mountains, so when you stop for a break, it is important to have warm clothes to put on.
 When the sun goes down, temperatures drop very quickly. It will be zero degrees C or lower at night, and you can expect to wake up in the morning to heavy frosts. In high camps on climbing trips, you can expect temperature to fall as low as minus 10 degrees C at night in some camps or even lower if there is bad weather. Wind chill when climbing could lower temperatures to around -20 degrees in severe weather and you need to be prepared for the cold.

What will the food be like on trek?
We have fantastic trek cooks who prepare a wide variety of meals, and each cook has his or her own specialties.
Breakfast can be porridge or cereal & yoghurt, with toast and eggs, or pancakes, marmalade, honey and spreads tea, coffee, coca, tea, herbal teas. For lunch the cook prepares hot or cold lunch dish speciality. Sometimes it can be trout, or pasta or some salads, and we have hot tea, coffee or herbal tea. Afternoon tea is biscuits with guacamole popcorn, wantons or a special treat from the cook with more tea & coffee. Dinner is always 3 course – a hearty soup with is a Peruvian specialty, a main dish of chicken or meat with vegetables, or vegetarian option and a dessert, plus tea and coffee, or drinking chocolate.
 We give you a snack pack for the day with biscuits, chocolate, dried fruits, muesli bar, pieces of fresh fruit.
We also cater for vegetarian or vegan diets, gluten or dairy free and special diet requests.

Download the PDF for a typical trek menu

What happens if the trek or climb is cancelled due to bad weather?
We trek in any weather, and to date have never cancelled a trek due to bad weather. If clients choose not to make the trek because of bad weather, we can work with you to decide an alternative trek or day hikes, subject to our trek cancellation policy.
All climbs are subject to weather and if the guide considers that weather conditions are dangerous for climbing, then you will be taken back down the mountain.
We have a cancellation policy which you will receive with the booking form when you confirm that you will make a trek or climb with us. You need to read this so that you understand the cancellation terms. NOTE that if you cancel your trek or climb at late notice, we are still obligated to pay our crew the full trek fee for the period that we have booked them for unless we can provide alternative work.

What is the electrical supply in Peru?
The Peruvian system is 220V, 60 cycles AC Power points generally are two point which either flat and round plugs. Adapters are not always available in Huaraz so you should bring your own.

Can I recharge digital and other batteries?
You can recharge batteries in the cities if you have an adaptor. On trek there is no electrical supply available and no opportunity to recharge batteries.
The cold weather makes all batteries including digital camera batteries and headlamp batteries go flat very quickly. It is advisable to bring spare non-rechargeable batteries with you and always keep your digital camera warm by wrapping it in something warm when not in use.

Can I hire gear in Huaraz?
We have some sleeping bags and climbing equipment available for hire and there is a reputable gear hire shop in Huaraz that we work with who hire almost all types of trekking and climbing equipment and some clothing.

What is the currency in Peru?
Official currency is Sole. US dollars widely accepted in bigger towns and large hotels, but you need soles for small hotels, shops and in villages.1 US$ = around 2.6soles.
The exchange rate is fluctuating regularly because of the weakening US$ and exchange rates can change daily.
 
Always carry plenty of soles in small denominations in coins (2 soles, 1 sole, 5 soles). Street stalls, taxis and even most shops do not have change.
 
TRAVELLERS CHEQUES
In Huaraz the only bank that will change travellers Cheques is CONTINENTAL BANK Bank. Peruvian Andes Adventures can send one of our staff to the bank with you to help change travellers cheques. AMERICAN EXPRESS are the only cheques accepted for change Denominations from US$50 upwards are accepted. To change up to maximum US$1500 total in a single transaction per person a fee of US$12 total is charged
In excess of US$1500 per transaction 02% commission is charged on the total changes
There is no limit on the total US$ value of cheques changed per transaction per person

US$ can be changed in Casa de Cambios in Lima and Huaraz (open till evening), and hotels, banks. Be careful when changing money – check the notes you receive for rips/tears etc. Shops will not accept damaged notes.
 
Changing Euros to Peru Currency
Euros can also be changed easily in Lima and Huaraz for soles. Generally Euros can only be changed at banks or change houses (not hotels). There is a bank agency in the customs hall of Lima airport.

Lima Airport Money Exchange
You can change US$ and Euros for soles at a Change House in the luggage claim area of Lima Airport there is no commission.
 
ATM / Money Machines
There are cash machines in Lima and Huaraz. Don’t totally rely on them though for your cash as sometimes they are not functioning. Maximum withdrawal each time is between US$200 and US$400 depending on the bank. You will need your ATM cards to withdraw cash. Most machines do not accept  debit card cash withdrawals. Cards must have a PLUS or CIRRUS symbol to work in an ATM machine.

Major Credit Cards in Huaraz
Accepted in some hotels & restaurants – but check first. Credit cards are not widely used or accepted in Huaraz.
 
Where can I leave my things and valuables while I am on the trek?
Most of the hotels and guesthouses have a secure locked room where they store clients’ belongings, and a safe for your passports, documents and money. You can also safely leave your belongings at our office.

Do I need to tip?
You may feel that you would like to give your trekking crew a tip if you consider that they have given you good service and you have enjoyed their company. This is entirely discretionary and there is no obligation.
 It is always difficult to suggest appropriate tips when people ask us. All we can say to people is that the crews do work very hard to make everything as perfect for you as possible, and they only have around four months in the year during the trekking season to earn an income for their families for the whole year. They greatly appreciate anything, even clothing or equipment that you feel you can leave behind, but it is not expected and as we say, is entirely at your discretion.
 In the towns, most of the restaurants and cafes have service included in the bill, but the staff are lowly paid by Western standards and if you like to leave them a small tip, it is always appreciated. To help clients, we have prepared a chart as a guideline for tipping and you can ask for this at your trek briefing.

What happens if I get sick?
Our guides and porters are trained in mountain first aid and altitude related illness. We always have a horse carrying equipment along with the donkeys, and for larger groups we take a separate rescue horse. If someone is unwell or has an accident, we evacuate them out by horseback to the nearest road or village where we organise evacuation back to Huaraz.  We always have sufficient staff with our crew so that one of our people can leave to care for the sick/injured client and the rest of the group can continue on with their trek or climb if they wish to. We have a company evacuation policy which the guides carry with them – it details the action to take f evacuation is needed, the nearest evacuation point on the trek route and contact emergency telephone numbers.
 It is important to realise that we are trekking in remote areas with limited communication to the outside. In some of the most remote areas it can take as much as two or three days to reach a village to be evacuated back to Huaraz, while on other trekking routes we can have you safely back in Huaraz in a day. There is no radio or cell phone contact in most of the areas we trek through. With large groups in remote areas and on climbing trips where there is no base camp radio or cell phone coverage we have a satellite telephone for emergency.

Trek Briefing & Gear Check
The afternoon before your trek or climb departure there will be a complete trek briefing and gear check. You can ask all your questions there and we will arrange any necessary hire gear.

How do I wash?
We provide a personal bowl of hot water for washing in the morning and in the afternoon when you arrive in camp. Additional hot water is available on request. We have a shower tent available on request for luxury (extra fee for tent + gas for heating water)

What Gear do I Need?
When you book a trek or climb with us we will send you a complete gear list, indicating what we provide included in the trek price and what you need to provide.
In brief – we provide:
*Clients tents, twin share
*Cook tent, dining tent, table & chairs, toilet tent, all cooking & eating equipment
*Sleeping mattress
*Climbing rope, snow stakes
You need to provide:
*Sleeping bag
*Personal clothing, boots
*Personal climbing equipment

How do I book & pay?
When you book your or climb, we send you a complete booking  package with documents to complete including a booking form,  personal information form and emergency contacts form. We also request payment of a deposit to confirm your trip and explain at that time how to pay the deposit & trip fee balance.

Do I need a tourist VISA?
Citizens from some countries ARE  required to have a tourist VISA to enter Peru. It is your responsibility to check your own VISA requirement with the Peruvian Embassy or Consulate Representative in your own country or with your travel agent.
There is a VISA website BUT this information should be verified and is not guaranteed to be correct.
http://www.visahq.com/citizens/United-States/

What vaccinations are needed?
We are not medically qualified to advise on vaccinations and you should check with your own doctor or a travel doctor.
HUARAZ is high altitude and not subject to malaria or yellow fever or other tropical diseases. As far as we are unaware, rabies is not present in the areas you will be trekking through in the Cordillera Blanca or Huaraz. Tropical diseases and rabies are present in Amazonia regions.
We DO recommend for Huaraz that you have up to date vaccinations for tetanus, polio and hepatitis.

Contact US if you have any questions not covered here.

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